Patient-centred communication skills education

“No longer considered to be simply a patient’s right, effective communication is now accepted as an essential component of quality care and patient safety…” (The Joint Commission, 2010)

Monash Doctors Education proudly supports the professional development of their staff by offering communication skills workshops designed to cover some of the most important areas identified by clinicians in Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health. Designed with the practising clinician in mind, these workshops offer practical and relevant training with the aim of leaving you better equipped to meet the demands of modern medicine. Enrol in a workshop today to become a more confident communicator.

Why do I need communication skills?
If you work in healthcare, chances are you have had a conversation with a patient or relative that did not go as well as you expected. You may have been called upon to deliver a new diagnosis of serious illness to an unsuspecting patient or break the news to a hopeful patient that all treatments had been exhausted. You may have contended with an anxious, angry, or distressed family or been asked to lead a discussion on ceasing active treatment. You may have been asked to discuss an NFR (not for resuscitation) order with a patient who does not even begin to understand the gravity of his illness or you have found yourself in conflict with colleagues or relatives about withdrawal of care on a terminally ill patient.

Like many professionals, you may identify your weakness in conflict management, asserting your rights in the workplace or putting your best foot forward for a crucial job interview.

In the intense pressure of working in a busy healthcare system, there are many ways in which our conversations go wrong. Sometimes we realize the problem but don’t know how to redress it; other times we don’t even recognize our role in creating the problem. But we all feel disappointed when we feel our communication skills have let us down personally or professionally. Effective communication is the key to engaging and empowering patients and colleagues alike.


Who can attend?
Our workshops are for doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and any other interested clinical staff. We encourage junior and senior staff participation from all areas with the aim of creating a true interprofessional audience that reflects real-life episodes of patient care. The program is extended to all Monash Health staff as well as external participants.

What is patient-centred communication?
Patient centred communication takes the patient’s needs, hopes and desires to be at the centre of deliberations between clinicians and the patient. Empirical evidence suggests that good communication skills in physicians leads to greater therapy adherence and less complaints as well as greater overall satisfaction with care among patients. A decrease in susceptibility to depression as well as a decrease in health care utilisation may also be related to good communication practices. Internal research from Monash Health has identified concerns regarding communication between clinicians and patients and relatives, particularly around the willingness of staff to listen. Patient-centred communication reminds us that the patient is the focus of medical care.

How is the program delivered?
Each workshop will be 2-3 hours long and delivered to a small audience to maximise the impact of active group participation and where appropriate, hands-on training involving an actor. A number of these workshops are supported by the Southern Metropolitan Integrated Cancer Service (SMICS). The workshops will be delivered at a range of Monash Health sites. A certificate of participation will be provided.

Who facilitates the workshops?
Monash Health is proud to support a range of highly qualified facilitators who possess a wealth of experience in the field. By representing endeavours in medicine, ethics, oncology, palliative care, paediatrics, nursing, psychology, psychiatry and allied health, our facilitators are well placed to engage the audience in the communication needs of the modern healthcare professional.

For more information and dates, please go the calendar


Winner of the 2014 International Association for Medical Education (AMEE) teaching innovation award and finalist for the Victorian People in Health Clinical Training Award

Finalist amee